Where does the time go? Has it really been over a decade since the Disney Channel first unveiled the made-for-TV songfest High School Musical, launching a multimedia franchise, inspiring shameless rip-offs (Sunday School Musical, anyone?), and elevating Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens to stardom? Now that student productions of Musical have been staged at countless real-life high schools and junior highs across America, what’s left to do with the original? Is there any more juice left in this particular turnip? The Walt Disney Company has an idea: Raze the thing to the ground and then try to build something worthwhile from the debris. In an example of boldly deconstructionist programming, the House Of Mouse has enlisted the services of the popular YouTube channel Bad Lip Reading to create an all-nonsense version of High School Musical, leaving the visuals intact but creating an alternate soundtrack. The results will air on Disney XD on July 11 at 11 a.m.
A preview clip shows what Bad Lip Reading has done with the iconic New Year’s Eve party scene. The new soundtrack improves the sequence immeasurably. Efron and Hudgens’ characters, Troy and Gabriella, are here reborn as two social misfits named Chorky and Lumpkinella respectively. The latter is memorably described as a “girl who reads with her fingers in the middle of a party,” while the former admits, “I don’t know how to talk.” In the original film, these two characters sing a duet called “Start Of Something New.” But here, they just exchange random, baffling non sequiturs. “I love good nursery rhymes, and I just happen to be here,” Efron remarks in a typical exchange. Hudgens, for her part, smiles broadly as she yells, “I can’t really hear you! Huh?”
Should the rest of the broadcast live up to the expectations set by this clip, the Bad Lip Reading version of High School Musical has the potential to be something more than an entertaining distraction. It’s so memorably odd and proudly meaningless that it’s almost like abstract art. After all these decades, Disney has finally embraced the aesthetics of dadaism.
[via Entertainment Weekly]